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  • Writer's pictureAbigail Mathias

Something to think about

Spiritual Leader Sadhguru champions climate action and sustainability on a visit to UAE. There is no dearth of guides, gurus or, a multitude of self-help books one can reach out to with the touch of a button. However, a few people make you sit up and think. As a business journalist in Qatar 10 years ago, I covered a well-being seminar where a popular Indian spiritual,,,er Sadhguru Jagadish Vasudev, (Sadhguru) was to address a gathering. The audience was made up of diverse minds that were eagerly waiting in huge lines to hear him speak.

My colleague joked that her mother 'only' listens to him day and night, follows his advice on yoga and had hoped to procure a media pass for both to enter the venue. Intrigued, I sat in the front row wondering who this guy is. It didn't take long to realise that Sadhguru wasn't saying anything new. He was just sharing some very basic facts and principles. Cut to 21 May, 2022. He visited Dubai's famed Museum of the Future, (MOTF) a place I have yet to visit myself. Of course media invites are hard to come by there is usually a lot of media-frenzy over visits like this but the core message, I hope is not lost which is the reason for this post.

I hope that we are able to do our little bit to save our planet. It is the only one we have.

On his visit Sadhguru addressed the importance of sustainability, protecting the environment and safeguarding soil conservation during a special session at Dubai’s Museum of the Future. As part of his ‘Journey to Save Soil’ he has set out from London to Delhi, visiting many hotspots around the world and spreading his message along the way. Sadhguru visited the MOTF to deliver a special address under the title ‘Working Together for a Conscious Planet’, which saw the environmental activist engage with people from around the world, inspiring them to take decisive action on climate change, with a particular focus on soil degradation.

“What we are facing now is soil extinction,” he said. “Why is soil becoming extinct? We must understand if you add organic content to sand, sand will turn into soil. If you remove all organic content from soil, soil will become sand.

“In most countries, more than 50 percent of the top soil has gone over the past 100 years. The nutrient levels have dropped significantly. The level of micronutrients that you got in your food in the early 20th Century, compared to what you are getting now, has dropped 90 percent.”

Named one of India’s 50 most influential people, it is not hard to recognise why people are moved by his message. Using an example of the drastic reduction of micronutrients in soil across the planet today, Sadhguru pointed out that to get the same nutrients as an orange as you would in the 1920s, a person would have to eat eight oranges today.

“This is what we have done,” he said. “In the last 1,000 years, we have removed 85 percent of photosynthesis from the planet. This is what we are trying to reverse with ‘Save Soil’.

“There must be a maximum amount of photosynthesis on the planet because it takes in carbon (dioxide), it keeps the land rich and feeds all the other organism – helping the planet stay alive.”

Sustainability is a key theme at the Museum of the Future as it has been built to LEED Platinum sustainability standards.

Spanning 30,000 kilometres and 27 countries, Sadhguru has embarked on a transatlantic 75-day journey as a solo motorcyclist to address the soil crisis by bringing together people from around the world to champion soil health and urge global leaders to implement national policies to save what is considered as one of Earth’s depleting resources.

The guru's message on reviving soil and replenishing earth goes hand in hand with the museum’s overall message and in particular, the HEAL Institute; a chapter in the museum’s five-floor experience centered around ecology, biodiversity and the adopting of new environmentally-friendly solutions to help humans reconnect with the earth.

“Today, we have glorified our survival, we call it economy, we call it ambition. Whether it is money, knowledge, or relationships or wealth – it doesn’t matter what – if you believe you can enhance your life by accumulating something then you have lost your track.

“Life can only be enhanced by enhancing your perception. You can sit of top of a mountain and still be frustrated; you can sit in a palace and still be miserable. Enhancement of life will not happen with accumulations. Or with your bank balance. I call this sickness, not success. Unfortunately, we have spread this sickness across the world.

“This will happen if you enhance your intellect, without enhancing your other aspects of intelligence. The nature of the intellect is to accumulate. Because of this, we have given up on human intention. It is only with human intention that we can open any door in the universe. The keenness of your intention will that.” Let me know if you have thoughts on how you can save the environment. Every drop in the ocean makes a difference.

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